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Handling diamonds the proper way

Many people who trade in diamonds do not realize that the manner in which you handle your diamonds and diamond jewelry can actually impact the jewelry business. But there is a very simple and basic reason why this is true.

Diamonds whether studded in jewelry or loose, have a propensity to attract oil and grease and every time the diamond is handled, it tends to pick up some grease. As we all know, grease attracts dust particles from the air and eventually there is a layer of grease and dust that covers the surface of the diamond. And we all know that when that takes place the light that reflects from the diamond is affected negatively.

The property of diamonds to attract grease has not always been seen as a negative property. In the earlier years, miners used the knowledge of this property of diamonds to sort diamonds from other minerals and gemstones in the same ore. This was done by covering a belt in grease and wax and then allowing the crushed ore to run over the belt. As the crushed ore passed over the greasy belt, the uncut diamond rough would stick to the belt as the other minerals remained unaffected.

However, these processes have changed over time and there are more sophisticated methods that are now used to separate diamonds. But one thing is for sure, this unique property of diamonds continues to be the bane for those who handle and trade diamonds daily.

The scientific reason for why a diamond that is covered with a layer of grease and dust looses its sheen is due to the refractive index. The shine of the diamond is dependant on the light that enters the diamond and the manner in which it moves out of the diamond. When light passes through a clean diamond the interface is between diamond and air. The refractive index of air is 1.0 but the refractive index of grease is 1.5.

In more practical terms what this means is that the diamond's critical angle increases and the amount of light that reflects from the pavilion reduces significantly. The light does not go through the crown but falls inside and then some of it escapes out of the pavilion. And since the entire light that enters does not move in a focused manner but diffuses in the diamond, the shine, brilliance and glint of the diamond is far lesser than it could be.

Now, customers who purchase diamonds buy them because they like the manner in which they shine and attract attention too. Therefore, it is essential for you to keep your diamond jewelry shining.

Make sure that the diamonds are not handled unnecessarily except when they need to be. Keep the area where the diamonds are displayed totally clean. When you are handling diamonds make sure that you do so with tweezers, gloves or any lint free cloth. After your customers handle the diamonds make sure that you wipe them with a soft, clean cloth before you replace them in their safe haven. As your diamonds dazzle your customers, you will realize that the cash registers ring more often and keep you smiling.

About Author Mithun Rao :

Mithun Rao, a jewelry professional, holds degree in gemology and jewelry design from Mumbai and has spent 10 years in the industry (including running his own jewelry shop). With an obsession for gems and precious stones, he also shares a passion for music, painting and wishes to explore new places, and understand new cultures. He owns and manages the gemstones and diamonds site <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Tuesday, July 8, 2008
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